ATLANTA — TikTok challenges are becoming increasingly more dangerous as students across the country are vandalizing property, stealing things and more. Many of them are even facing charges.
Metro Atlanta school districts are now warning their students about the legal ramifications of the newest trend: the “Slap a Teacher Challenge.”
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“This TikTok nonsense that’s creating havoc in schools across the country has to stop,” Fulton County Schools superintendent Dr. Mike Loomey said.
The “Slap a Teacher Challenge” moves from having students steal or vandalize property to committing sexual assault by slapping their teacher on the backside.
“It blows my mind that any of these kids would think it was okay,” said Anna Moore, whose daughter is a 7th grader in Gwinnett County Schools.
Moore received a letter in the mail from the school superintendent warning parents that several students have already faced disciplinary and criminal action for stealing.
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“Parents are getting together and sending soap and toilet paper to school because all their dispensers were destroyed, every single one in every bathroom,” Moore told Channel 2′s Matt Johnson.
The letter goes on to say that “some behaviors encouraged on social media can get them in trouble, at home, at school, and even with the police.”
“Violence in our schools, between students and against staff members, is something that we’re already dealing with, it’s already a concern. So this just adds another layer to that,” said Georgia Association of Educators President Lisa Morgan.
Some psychologists and therapists I spoke to said there are underlying issues that may be leading to the bizarre behavior.
“Every one of our teens is at risk for that whole desire to experience the likes, the number of likes rising in their Instagram, or TikTok,” said clinical psychologist Dr. Norman Fried.
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In Coweta County, police arrested two students who they say got caught.
In Atlanta Public Schools, the district has reported $1,250 worth of damage from TikTok challenges.
In Fulton County, the superintendent is vowing to hold parents responsible.
“We’re also going to be asking our parents to reimburse our school district for damage done in our schools as a result of these kinds of misconduct,” said Dr. Looney.
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